Republican Opponents For Treasurer Differ On Budget Strategy

Mar 13, 2014

DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan and Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) face off in the Republican primary for State Treasurer.

  When state treasurer Dan Rutherford announced a run for governor, the Republican left his seat wide open. Two GOP candidates are vying for that party’s nomination on Tuesday.

Former House minority leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) left his position in the fall to run for treasurer. He's promising to use a new tool to force a balanced budget: The threat of suing the General Assembly and the governor.

Cross says having that card in his back pocket will make sure the state doesn’t spend more than it takes in, like the state's constitution mandates.

"If the General Assembly doesn't want to balance the budget, somebody needs to come along and enforce that provision of the Constitution," Cross said.

But his primary opponent Bob Grogan disagrees. Grogan, a CPA and the current DuPage County Auditor, says legal action is the job of another constitutional officer.

"The treasurer's office is to be the treasurer…The role is not to -pretend you're the attorney general," he said. "The problem with politics in Illinois is people are always trying to do somebody else's job."

Cross has largely ignored Grogan's opposition, at least in his television ad buys. Grogan says that's the representative's prerogative. He's instead been playing up his background in accounting and finance.

"If you were going to hire somebody for your business to be a treasurer, I would actually get an interview; my opponent wouldn't even get a callback," he said.

The GOP nominee will face Democratic State Senator Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) in the general election. He’s running unopposed Tuesday.